Larry Hicks (1945 - 2010)

Obituary
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  • "My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief...."
    - Donna Markwell
  • "Sharon and family , a wise man said ( Every Man Dies - But..."
    - Monty Brown
  • "Michelle and family, our sincerest condolences and prayers..."
    - Tami Pugsley
  • "Larry - you will be missed. It was because of my childhood..."
    - Susan (Stewart) Wood
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T.L. "Larry" Hicks, 64, of Nampa, died at St. Luke's Meridian Medical Center on Monday, March 1, 2010, following a bout with pneumonia.
Larry was born on April 18, 1945, in Mound City, Mo., to Reva and Elmer. He was the middle child of three children. The family moved to Idaho in the early 1950s, eventually settling in Fruitland, where he graduated from Fruitland High School in 1963.
Larry went on to attend and graduate from the School of Market Trade in Boise in 1964. That same year, he eloped with his high school sweetheart, Sharon Watanabe, in Winnemucca, Nev. Larry became the butcher and manager of Nampa Food Center from 1964 to 1967 when his entrepreneurial spirit took over.
He watched Sharon working as a beautician and he could sense the opportunities if he and his wife had their own salon business. So, in 1968, Larry graduated from Boise Barber College and went from cutting meat to cutting hair. From 1967 until 2001, he owned and operated Continental Beauty and Barber Salons Inc., and Beauty and Barber College, headquartered at first in Caldwell and then in Boise. He was active in establishing professional standards for the cosmetology and barber trades through the Idaho School Owners Association where he held various positions over the years, including president.
With Sharon and eventually his son, Kimber, they trained many of the hairstylists still working in the valley today.
In the early 80s, Larry had an innovative idea that inspired him to start a new company related to the hairstyling field: Video Graphic Systems, or VGS. The company created a computer software program that allowed stylists to preview hairstyles on their clients before ever cutting a strand of hair. In order to create a database of hairstyles, Larry traveled around the United States and Internationally to Canada, France and Korea, capturing styles from some of the world's top hairstylists. The technology they used to capture and manipulate images of hairstyles behaved much like computer programs that are commonplace today, such as Photoshop. Although his vision was revolutionary, it was a bit ahead of its time since personal computers were barely making their way into styling salons. But Larry owned the technology patents and considered it one of his greatest achievements.
For fun, Larry and Sharon would go snowmobiling and sailing with family and friends - even sailing the San Juan Islands.
In later years, he enjoyed golfing with his son, Kimber, and family vacations to Mexico.
Larry and Sharon recently celebrated their 45th high school reunion with close friends and former classmates on an Alaskan cruise. He was famous for being a jokester. Heaven help the person who dialed a wrong number when Larry picked up - he'd keep them on the phone for several minutes and convince them the person they called for was out getting into mischief.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon, with whom he just celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary; brother-in-law James "Sonny" Watanabe of Nampa; daughter Michelle Hicks (Anthony Thomas) of Boise; son Kimber Hicks (Carrie Bostic-Hicks) of Maui, Hawaii; granddaughter Kimora Hicks of Boise; Charlene Thomas of Boise; Aaron Thomas of Boise; Nick Thomas of Boise; Chase Bostic of Maui, Hawaii; Brie Herr of San Diego, Calif.; as well as two great-grandchildren.
To his grandchildren, he was PaPa because "PaPas are special." Larry was a dreamer, an entrepreneur and an innovator with a hardy sense of humor and a deep love of his wife and family.
A graveside service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario, Ore., at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. A gathering will follow at 3:30 p.m. at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Ontario. Arrangements are being coordinated through Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel in Boise, (208) 376-5400.
Funeral Home
Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel
5400 Fairview Avenue
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 376-5400
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Mar. 4, 2010